Inland Power & Light Community Solar
This 30 kW ground-mount array in Spokane, Wash., is the first significant venture into solar for Inland Power & Light, a member-owned utility serving 39,000 residential and commercial customers in 13 counties in eastern Washington and northern Idaho.
The system was funded by utility members who bought shares through a lottery sponsored by the utility. Shareholders now receive the benefit of net metering, that is, the positive difference between their own power consumption and what their portion of the community solar system provides. They will also see a pro rata rebate from Inland Power for each kilowatt hour of power produced.
Opportunity for such “community solar” projects was created by the Washington state Legislature, to encourage utilities and local governments to add clean energy arrays to their own production capacity.
“When a utility installs a system, it helps promote solar for their customers,” says John Harley, vice president of Brimma Solar, which installed the Inland Power array. “Customers with solar, or thinking about installing solar, feel comfort when they know their utility supports solar.”
The project is also a showcase for Washington’s solar manufacturing industry. The installation includes PV modules by itek Energy of Bellingham, APsystems YC500A microinverters by Blue Frog Solar of Poulsbo, and racking by SunModo of Vancouver.
Designer/Installer: Brimma Solar
Owner: Inland Power & Light (member-owned utility)
Location: Spokane, WA
Installation date: August 2014
Capacity: 30 kW
Module type: itek 260-watt modules
No. of modules: 112
Microinverters: APsystems/Blue Frog YC500A MIW
No. of microinverters: 56